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Jinx: Olympic flame blow out follows strike
Updated: 2004-04-01 16:59


Greek Olympic silver medalist Katerina Thanou arrives with the Olympic flame in the all-marble Panathinean stadium, in Athens March 31, 2004. [Reuters]
The Olympic flame went out briefly at a homecoming ceremony in Athens' old Olympic stadium Wednesday, adding to a jinx that began early in the day with a nationwide strike that affected delayed Games works.

The flame went out as Hellenic Olympic Committee president Lambis Nikolaou passed the olive leaf-shaped torch to Gianna Angelopoulos, head of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee.

Angelopoulos calmly handed the torch to Nikolaou, who passed it back to a robe-clad priestess for re-lighting from the ceremonial cauldron previously lit by torchbearer Katerina Thanou, an Olympic 100 meters silver medallist.

With the flame roaring again, the priestess gave the torch to Nikolaou who again passed it on to Angelopoulos.

The International Olympic Committee warned Greece that more strike action like Wednesday's 24-hour stoppage in industries including transport and construction could threaten the Summer Games in August and called on union bosses to be reasonable.

The flame is set to remain in the old Olympic stadium, also known as Kallimarmaro because of its all-marble construction, until early June when it will start an unprecedented global relay across five continents.

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